With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cracking the whip and wresting control over the election process, the disenchanted BJP leaders, who were constrained to opt out of the race for candidature, have resolved to bury the hatchet and fall in line with the party diktat.
State leaders M.T. Ramesh and P.K. Krishnadas have publicly said that they have not nursed any ambition to contest and State general secretary K. Surendran whose candidature for the Pathanamthitta segment continues to remain uncertain refuses to break his silence. The announcement is expected within a day or two. RSS functionaries had been designated to run the campaign without giving room for any slip or complaints, sources said.
But the dithering of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan on his earlier stance that Yogam office-bearers, including Thushar Vellappally, on deciding to contest would have to demit office, sparked off speculation on Friday. He may yet again have to reiterate his earlier stance to clear the air.
Party sources said the hectic lobbying by a group of senior leaders mainly for Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur and Palakkad had dented the public image of the party and was being deemed as unbecoming for a cadre party.
The national leadership’s decision, reportedly at the instance of the RSS, to have former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan in Thiruvananthapuram without holding any consultations with the State top brass had also caused heartburn for those who had aspired for the seat.
By overlooking the State leadership in deciding to field Mr. Rajasekharan, the national leaders were in effect sending a clear warning that they did not intend to carry them along in the candidate finalisation process.
A decision of State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai to serve a notice on State spokesperson M.S. Kumar for publicly advocating the candidature of Mr. Rajasekharan had sparked off a debate within the party. Mr. Kumar’s inadvertent remark that the cadre longed to have Mr. Rajasekharan as candidate in the capital was construed as indiscipline and a notice was slapped on him.
The candidate selection closely resembled an earlier decision of the BJP central leadership to induct K.J. Alphons in the Union Cabinet after keeping the State leadership in the dark, sources said.